The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) have strongly condemned the murder of Journalist Farhan James Abdulle on the eve of World Press Freedom Day. Abdulle was shadowed by two masked men before being gunned down with pistols at approximately 8pm on Wednesday May 2.
This makes him the fifth journalist killed in Somalia this year: one for every month of 2012 thus far.
"We express outrage over this shocking and cruel killing of Farhan Abdulle," said Abdirisak Omar Ismail, NUSOJ Supreme Council President, who spoke with allAfrica.com after the incident.
"Journalists in Galkayo are feeling unsafe, prone to targeted vicious campaign, and they are no longer free from fear for their lives," said Abduwelli Hassan Gooni, NUSOJ Puntland Coordinator.
The National Union of Samli Journalists demanded those responsible to be held accountable.
"Killing Abdulle on the eve of World Press Freedom Day is an indication of the cruel, bloody violence against journalists. For Somali journalists, we have no reason to celebrate but to remember our fallen brothers," said Omar Faruk Osman, Secretary General of the NUSOJ.
Reporters Without Borders described Somalia as deadliest African nation for journalists.
Somalia's permanent state of conflict creates a highly dangerous atmosphere for reporters and their work is made even more risky, even impossible, by the intolerance of Islamist militias towards freedom of information," the RSF said in a statement.
James Swan - US special representative in Somalia - noted that credible accusations
have been levelled at Somalia's central government and other authorities in the northern regions of Somaliland and Puntland.
"When governments use fear to suppress criticism they weaken their standing with their own constitutions and the international community,"
"When journalists are threatened, attacked, jailed, or disappeared, other journalists self-censor," Swam wrote. "They stop reporting stories. They tone down stories. They omit details. Sources stop helping them. Their editors hesitate to print stories. Fear replaces truth. All of our societies suffer."
At the time of writing no group has claimed responsibility for Abdulle's murder.